Bor, 2nd May 2018 – The United Nations Development Programme in South Sudan (UNDP) partnered with a national CSO “SPEDP” to launch the distribution of start-up capital and kits to 10 Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA) reaching 200 vulnerable women in Bor’s Protection of Civilians Site (PoC).
UNDP’s Access to Justice and Rule of Law Project is contributing to improved livelihood to IDPs in the PoC sites targeting mainly women. This is through provision of livelihood skills; tailoring and design, computer, masonry, bakery and Village Loan And saving scheme. The overarching objective is to support the women in the PoC to have access to livelihood opportunities and peer support networks
“I am very grateful to UNDP and SPEDP for seeing it important that we have to be economically empowered which will help us become self-reliant than waiting for handouts from various humanitarian actors”, said Mary Chul Choul a member of VLSA.
Each VSLA group received an equivalent of 1000 USD in the local currency and start-up kits include saving lockboxes and ledgers to launch their businesses. All 200 women completed a two-month intensive training in business skills prior to receiving these start-up kits.
The receptions for the support were very positive “Today is a dawn of new era in our lives as women affected by war and living in PoC. With the skills and knowledge acquired in the last two months and now with this capital our lives are going to improve greatly as individuals and most important as a team” said Rebecca Tut a member of the VSLA
The Chairlady of Bor PoC Nyajok Dak went on: “UNDP is proving that it’s indeed for development by providing us with skills, knowledge and start-up capital. By empowering women then a whole nation is empowered and definitely peace will come. This is because women are the fiber that holds society together and because we want to protect what we have acquired then we will ensure we support the peace processes.”
Finally, Dau Kulang a Bor PoC Community Leader commended UNDP’s support in women: “Empowering women sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication, better health and peace”. He urged the members of the VLSA to put to proper use the skills, knowledge and the start-up capital for the betterment of their families and community at Large.